Billions Season Three Dining Guide
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 24, 2018
It is no secret that one of my favorite things about my favorite show is how it showcases the New York dining scene from hole-in-the-walls to neighborhood gems to Michelin-starred restaurants. And it has been my pleasure to share the information about restaurants appearing on the show first in my weekly recaps and then in a full dining guide by the end of the season for Season 1 and Season 2.
But now that our dining guides are two of the most widely read articles on the blog, and that we constantly get questions about the restaurants on the show, I have decided to take a different route this season. I am kicking off our dining guide today with the restaurants our characters visited in the first two episodes in Season 3 and I am going to update the post as we go.
I don’t know about you but the restaurant choices the show creators have made for different characters in the first two seasons look very deliberate to me. There may be exceptions but Chuck is typically likely to eat at established places – city institutions if you will – with great food that is not revolutionary but extremely well-executed. Examples: Keen’s Steakhouse and Babbo. Axe, on the other hand, seems to be more open to contemporary places that serve more experimental and inventive food. Examples: Momofuku Ko and Crif Dogs.
Chuck Senior eats at the very high-end old-school places. Examples: Peter Luger and La Grenouille. And Wags does sushi from the strip mall body sushi to the high end Sushi Nakasawa. All these men can go whatever restaurant they want to go in the city, and they can certainly go to the same restaurant especially if someone else is choosing for them. But their characters are written all over their choice when they make the reservations.
I was lucky to ask the show’s co-creator Brian Koppelman about this while he was doing a Twitter Q&A on a choppy flight and he was very kind to reply.
We choose very deliberately. But they could go to same restaurant in nyc–not a plot point, not saying they would meet at one coincidentally–but, like, from economic and socio standpoint, they could have friends choose same place easily.
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) January 9, 2018
Before we dive into another brilliant season of New York food scene, massive thanks go to the show creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien for loving and honoring the dining capital of the world: Some of the places they choose are my personal favorites, some gems I discover thanks to the show, and I believe, being the forensic fan that I am, I try my best to figure all the restaurants featured in the show using a combination of hints from the scene, keyword search on Google and, hey, Google earth, too!
I describe each restaurant below as the one with what we see happening there (the one with being my tribute to another all-time favorite show Friends) attach a picture of the scene as a refresher and a link to restaurant website as well as its Yelp review where available. I really hope you have a chance to try one or several of these places and send us feedback. Please let me know if I am missing anything and I am happy to add it to the list.
Episode 1: Tie Goes to the Runner
The one with Chuck finding out Dake may not be the Calvinist he seems:
4 Charles Prime Rib: An intimate supper club in West Village serving prime steaks, fresh seafood, hand-carved slices of prime rib, and decadent desserts.
The one with Chuck finding Ira eating pierogies:
The one with the “Trouble Doppelganger” showing up at the Idea Dinner
The one with the take-out lo mein on the meeting table at the US Attorney’s Office
Wo Hop: Take-out friendly Chinese restaurant.
Episode 2: The Wrong Maria Gonzalez
The one with Chuck and Dake discussing the ways to get de-Funded 😀
Kossar’s: Bagels and Bialys since 1936.
Episode 3: A Generation Too Late
The one with Ira not proposing and proposing to his girlfriend
Craft: Chef Tom Colicchio‘s (Top Chef, anyone?) flagship restaurant in New York. I went to Craft back in early 2000s when the restaurant received a James Beard Award for the Best New Restaurant nationwide. But I am sure it still surpasses expectations! I think I need to do a return trip soon!
The one with the burger Chef Ryan is trying to replicate to seduce Raul Gomez 🙂
Ann’s Snack Bar: A small restaurant in Atlanta famous for its burgers.
Here is a close up to the original burger. You decide if Chef Ryan has nailed it 😀
The one with Ira still out to get Axe 🙂
Viand Cafe: Believe it or not, it is my local diner!
The one with the “recession special” – 2 hot dogs and 1 drink for $5.95
Gray’s Papaya: a 24/7 open hot dog joint famous for its cheap and yummy hot dogs! I was very lucky to be LIVE on location while they were shooting at Gray’s Papaya. Come join me in a FUN behind the scenes experience here!
Episode 4: Hell of a Ride
The one with Chuck sharing his childhood secrets with Wendy
Brandy Library: An institution of fine drinking in the heart of Tribeca since 2003.
The one with Black Jack Foley telling Chuck about how to take care about his father 🙂
Donohue’s Steakhouse: A homey place for steaks and other straightforward classics in vintage, dark-wood quarters. Donohue’s does not have a website but the New York Times has a loving piece about the place.
The one with Sean Ayles trying to sell the efficacy of Axelrod Foundation to Taylor
North End Grill: Another brilliant establishment from New York’s most important restaurateur Danny Meyer serving “rustic, elemental French-inspired cooking infused with subtle smoke from the restaurant’s wood-burning grills.” You can hear Billions co-creator and show runner Brian Koppelman talk to Meyer on his podcast The Moment here.
The one with Axe reminding World-Aid chairman that he is not King Cole
King Cole Bar, St. Regis Hotel: An upscale lounge serving located in the very upscale St. Regis Hotel. The centerpiece of the bar is a well-known mural depicting Old King Cole, painted by Maxfield Parish in 1906. Legend has it that this bar is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary.
The one with Axe and Oscar celebrating their win at World-Aid board meeting
Ghenet: A relaxed restaurant serving traditional Ethiopian dishes like meat and vegetable stews and home-made injera bread.
Episode 5: Flaw in the Death Star
The one with Axe and Wags welcoming Spyros to the family 🙂
Daniel: *SPECIAL OCCASION* A 2 Michelin-starred elegant and jacket-required French restaurant named after its owner and executive chef, the legendary Daniel Boulud. The chef has several restaurants all over the city as well as in Boston, Miami, Palm Beach, Washington D.C, Montreal, Toronto, London, Singapore, and Tokyo with Daniel being the flagship.
And as much as it seems Chef Boulud has made an exception for Axe regarding the jacket, their usual practice is to provide a loaner to men that show up without jackets! I know it because Lewisto showed up there once without a jacket on a warm summer evening! It was hilarious that the dining room was full of men wearing the exact same jacket!
Below is a wonderful 15-minute video of the chef along with other city legends whom I hope to see in Billions in the seasons to come, namely Eric Ripert of Le Bernardine, Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean-Georges, and Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres talk about how they met in New York in 1980s, bonded over their French roots and revolutionized the NYC food scene.
Next to making a wonderful cameo on the show, it turns out Chef Boulud prepared some special food for the cast and the show creators at the end of the shoot which they had at a private room above his kitchen. And Damian’s review of the food obviously has as much weight as Yelp here!
Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis. The Dining Guide will be updated after future Billions episodes air. Stay informed by following the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis